Green Mantella Frog

Location

In the Zoo

Scientific Information

Scientific Name: Mantella viridis
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Mantellidae
Genus: Mantella

Size

Male

Female

Height:
Length: 1.2 inches 1.2 inches
Weight: <2 td> <2 td>
Maturity: 12-14 months 12-14 months

Lifestyle and Lifespan

Diet: Carnivorous
Activity Timeframe: Diurnal
Interactivity: Social
Sexual Dimorphism: Yes
Gestation: 2-6 days
Lifespan in the Wild: 5-10 years
Lifespan in Captivity: 5-10 years

Geographic Range

Africa, southeastern Madagascar

Conservation

Status in the Wild: Critically Endangered
Threats: Pollution

Characteristics

A large and robust frog that can reach 30 mm (1.2 inches). They are largely green, although some individuals appear more yellow in color. A black mask wraps around the face with a white band around the top lip. The underside is black with blue speckles. Females tend to be larger, more plump and have a more square snout.

Species Specifics

Physical Characteristics

- All frogs require water, but they do not obtain it by drinking. Their permeable skin allows them to absorb water cutaneously. An amphibian's ability to change color depends on many factors such as light, temperature, humidity, season, diet, and mood.-

Ecology

Habitat

Tropical rainforests, near shallow pools and ponds.

Distribution

Restricted to extreme northern Madagascar and is most well-known from Montagne des Fran�ais. They inhabit dry lowland forest, especially around streambeds. It is found at elevations of 50 - 300 m above sea level.

Diet

Insectivore (primarily.) Eats termites, ants, fruit flies and other small arthropods. Also eats soft fallen fruits.

Ecological Web

Insectivore. Primary consumer. Avid diurnal predator, (hunts primarily insects like termites, ants, fruit flies and other small arthropods.)

Activity and Behavior

Activity Pattern

Diurnal. Spends most of its day hunting for food.

Behavior

Social Behavior

Adult mantellas live in small colonies scattered throughout southeastern Madagascar, with an average of two males for every one female. During the spring breeding season, males claim and protect territories, calling out to the females with a series of short, very rapid clicks. If another male mantella wanders into guarded territory, the owner wrestles with him and pushes him back out.

Reproductive Behavior

Males attract females by calling out very short notes that are composted of two even shorter clicks. Between 15 and 60 greenish-yellow eggs are laid in cavities under rocks and in the trunks of dead trees. They hatch into tadpoles during heavy rainfall, which washes them into small pools of water where they eat algae. The tadpoles grow to a size of 28 mm. and ungergo metamorphosis after 45-65 days to take the adult form.

Offspring

A female mantella waits until the first big rainstorm of the season and then deposits her eggs in damp leaf litter or in a short tunnel she has dug; the climbing mantella female climbs in trees and deposits her eggs in tree holes. Male mantellas then tend to the eggs until hatching. The eggs hatch into tiny tadpoles a few days later. The little ones are washed by rainfall into small pools nearby, where they eat algae and grow.

Conservation

Status

Listed as Critically Endangered (CR) by IUCN due to habitat loss and pollution.

Historical

Current Threats

Pollution

Our Role

How You Can Help

Fascinating Facts

1. Many mantella species (but not the Golden Mantella) secrete toxins like those found in South America�s poison frogs. They get alkaloid toxins from the prey that they eat, primarily ants, termites and fruit flies. They then use these toxins for their own chemical defense. While not deadly they secrete enough toxins to make a predator sick or, at the very least, they can make themselves taste quite bad!

Interestingly, human actions can affect how toxic mantellas can be. For instance, mantellas living in areas untouched by human activity have more alkaloid toxins in their bodies than those living in areas that have been polluted. Because, as humans move into mantella habitat or pollute it with contaminants, many of the frogs' prey items are killed off, and there is less variety for the mantellas to eat. Scarcer food options means fewer alkaloids to be absorbed, which eventually leads to less toxic frogs.

A group of mantellas is called an army.

For many years, scientists believed that Madagascar's mantellas and South America's poison frogs were closely related. But DNA studies have shown that they are only distant relatives with similar bright, warning colors.

References

http://www.arkive.org/green-mantella/mantella-viridis/#text=FurtherInfo

Andreone, Franco, V. Mercurio, F Mattioli, and T J. Razafindrabe. 2005. "Good News for Three Critically Endangered and Traded Frogs From Madagascar." FROGLOG 72.

Rabemananjara, F. C. E., A. Crottini, Y. Chiari, F. Andreone, F. Glaw, R. Duguet, P. Bora, O. Ravoahangimalala Ramilijaona & M. Vences. 2007. Molecular systematics of Malagasy poison frogs in the Mantella betsileo and M. laevigata species groups. Zootaxa 1501: 31-44.

Vences, M., F. Glaw & W. Böhme. 1999. A review of the genus Mantella (Anura, Ranidae, Mantellinae): taxonomy, distribution and conservation of Malagasy poison frogs. Alytes 17 (1-2): 3-72. fw:10

Oakland Zoo. 1997. Green Mantella Frog. http://www.oaklandzoo.org//Green_Mantella_Frog.php

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